My courses engage a variety of materials and concerns: poetry and modern art, public spaces and urban planning, ethics, and critical thinking. Because my courses are interdisciplinary and because I hope to encourage my students to be curious about the world, the work I bring to the classroom is a hybrid of my own professional interests and those works and issues we simply find interesting.
Community Engagement in my classrooms: Students in my freshman seminar can expect to engage in non-traditional projects, frequently outside the classroom. My 2011-2012 students had the option of participating in the Inside Out Project, a large-scale public art project that challenged us to represent our city in public spaces on and off campus. You can read more about it at our project website. My 2012-2013 students participated in a series of community quilts created to commemorate VCU’s Year of Freedom event. For the years 2016-2018 I’m leading programming to introduce students to issues surrounding mass incarceration at VCU’s ASPiRE program. More about that below.
Prison Education and Reentry: Since 2013 I have been teaching as part of an ongoing partnership between VCU and Richmond’s City jail. These courses, enrolled through the Department of English and the ASPiRE program offer courses to both VCU students and city jail residents. My 2013 Poetry Seminar met weekly at the jail and built collaborative anthologies of writing and art by students from RCJ and VCU. I continued as a volunteer with the Richmond City Jail school until the jail’s migration to is new facility in 2014, and have relaunched courses in 2016 as part of a student/inmate reading and discussion group. You can find some of our work archived here.